Being in the business of real estate doesn’t make moving any easier. I recently assisted family members with an in-state relocation, and found that coming up with the right moving solution was a challenge.
The distance was ±450 miles, and we learned that this exceeded the geography most “local moving” companies were able to cover. And, since it was in-state, this job didn’t fit in the box for major van lines either. We would loved to have used PODS or U-haul storage containers, but the distance factor worked against this solution as well.
With persistence, we found Coleman American Moving Services, an Allied agent based out of Corpus Christi, TX, who assured us that they could handle our move. We worked with our sales rep to create an inventory list, and received a quote that met our price range. About a week prior to our scheduled move date, our sales rep completed a site visit to pre-plan loading logistics and to provide optional pricing for additional items we had not originally planned on taking. We decided to stick with our original agreement. Three days prior to our scheduled move date, he called again to deliver some surprising news: they were going to charge no less than double the original quote or they wouldn’t do the move.
Unfortunately for Coleman American Moving Services, Plan B was immediately our better option. We had already done our homework on DIY moving solutions. We priced Budget and Penske for truck rentals, and found Simple Moving Labor (SML) to be a viable option for the extra manpower we needed to load and unload.
Budget vs. Penske
We rented from both companies.
The Budget experience was disappointing. Although Budget offered the best rental prices, neither the equipment nor the service elements were up to par.
Dealer (a.k.a., Agent) vs Company (a.k.a., Full Service) Rental Locations do not provide the same customer experience. We booked our reservation through the company’s 800 number. Our 24′ Budget truck rental included a suitable car dolly. Everything went smoothly until we arrived at the Dealer location to pick up our equipment. We signed the rental agreement and walked out to inspect the truck.
The Dealer had hitched an unsuitable car carrier to our truck, and handed us the keys. We protested, and the Dealer stated he was powerless to modify the order, and changes could only be handled through the 800 number. We were on a tight time line to deliver the truck so our moving labor could start loading. He persuaded us to try the equipment on site to see if it would work (he was certain it would), but did not know how to operate the carrier. As the winch tightened, white smoke started spewing from the front of the car, and green fluid drained out below. Unsure if the car would be drivable, we agreed to leave the car & carrier, and get the truck to the loading location while we sorted things out with customer service.
The true test of a company’s customer service begins when problems arise. The same 800 number that was sugar and spice when they took our initial reservation turned Medusa when I advised them we needed to eliminate the car carrier — and that our car had been damaged. On the first call, they offered to send out roadside assistance to teach us how to use the carrier. I asked to speak with a supervisor, and the rep hung up on me. I called back, was placed on hold, and got disconnected again. Wash, rinse, repeat. After many hours and multiple attempts, I finally got connected with “a supervisor”, who refused to tell me her name. To make any changes to the reservation, she said, we would have to return the truck to the Dealer’s location, check it back in, and the Dealer would cancel our reservation. It was “impossible” to simply change the paperwork in the system. She hung up on me. I called back to ask for another supervisor, and was reconnected with the same representative who refused to share her name. Once again I was treated to what appears to be Budget’s policy for handling “field issues”, a hang up.
You get what you pay for. We were finally able to get the paperwork resolved with the Dealer. The truck served it’s purpose, but our initial inspection didn’t reveal the non-working a/c, the faulty windshield wipers, or the leaking container roof. Savvy consumers will also want to read Budget’s policies for overhead and tire damage, as they may differ from what a Dealer might tell you. Neither Corporate nor the Dealer stepped up to resolve the $600 repair bill to our damaged car.
Undoubtedly, the Penske Truck rental and Simple Moving Labor teams were the best hiring decisions we made. We would choose this solution again in a heartbeat.
Don’t mistake Simple Moving Labor for a full-service moving company. SML provides 2-3 strong backs who have loading & unloading experience for a specified time block. You buy and pack your own boxes. Rent dollies & blankets from Penske. Provide your own tools, tie downs, shrink wrap, mattress covers, etc., for the SML team(s) to use. They will know what to do with the supplies — like a boss. SML Customer Service did a great job of keeping us informed, and checking in with us periodically to make sure everything went well with the moving teams. We happily tipped both moving teams.
Moving ranks high on the stress scale of life events. This experience increased my empathy for both Buyers and Sellers who might be exploring any of the options shared in this post.
If you are looking for great local Moving Company recommendations in the DFW Metroplex or surrounding areas, give us a call at 469.645.6363, or send us an email. We would love to share our list of proven vendors and help your next move go smoothly!
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